Malcolm in the Middle (TV Series 2000–2006) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
189 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Consistently funny and original
MartinHafer8 August 2007
When this show first debuted right after THE SIMPSONS, I incorrectly thought it was just a live action knock-off of the Simpson family. While there are some similarities, the show managed to carve out a unique niche for itself due to the show's wonderful ability to tell two or three stories simultaneously and interweave them so well. Plus the humor involving this very dysfunctional family managed to be unique enough that I honestly can't say it was like any other show on television. Excellent writing, casting and enough bizarre plot twists to keep you interested, it's not surprising this show lasted seven seasons. In fact, considering how FOX moved the show around so much, it's a testament to the quality of the show that this didn't kill it--as so often happens when they move shows around without consideration for the audience. In the end, when it was canceled, the show was STILL well written and going strong--and could have perhaps gone on for another season or two.

By the way, as a testament to the great writing, unlike most comedies this one did not use a laugh track because they knew the situations were funny and they didn't need to coax the viewer into laughing--and it didn't insult the intelligence of the audience.
77 out of 79 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
grendelkhan9 July 2003
One of the most original and funniest shows in many years. In some ways I liken this to a live Simpsons. It both encapsulates and exaggerates real life. The family is a mess, but they do genuinely care for each other. Malcolm, he of the show title, is a genius with all that entails; but, he has a family of maniacs. Brother Reese is a dim thug, but no one picks on his brothers but him. Dewey, until recently youngest, has a rich fantasy life and a devious streak that has grown with each season. Francis, the oldest, is the irresponsible one, a true rebel. He is obsessed with his mother and a mess because of it. He was exiled to military school until emancipating himself and heading off to Alaska. He has since relocated to the Southwest. Hal is the sensitive, but none too bright father; a bit like Homer, without the level of vulgarity. Lois rules the roost, and a good thing too; she's the glue that holds things together. Lois is a true force of nature. The writing and acting in this show is first rate. It is consistently funny, with a certain skewed warmth. This is not an ideal family, but it is closer to reality than most. Even the secondary characters are memorable. So many started out as one-time appearances that grew into regulars; like Craig, Stevie, Lloyd and Dabney. Next to the writing, the casting is the most amazing aspect of this show. Each part has been masterfully filled by a talented actor. The kids are more than cute, they have personality. The adults are marvels,especially Jane Kaczmarek ad Bryan Cranston. Jane is Mother Nature, a force to be reckoned with. Bryan is a master of timing and reaction, as well as an expert in the use of his voice. All of the guest stars leave an impression and even small parts have led to greater roles. The series did struggle in it's most recent season, starting out somewhat uneven; but, it found its center and came on strong in the end. The episodes leading up to the new baby were fantastic, but my favorite was Lois' fantasy of having all girls. What is even more remarkable, is that the episode was conceived by a young girl; the niece (I think) of one of the crew members. It was a brilliant idea and a hilarious episode. This series was worthy of its DVD release. Let's hope there are more seasons to follow on TV, and previous seasons will continue on DVD. And, as to one reviewer's remarks about those "trashy animated shows" that precede Malcolm, the Simpsons is still the finest show on television and the greatest series to emerge in modern television. It is funny, intelligent, insightful, inspiring, annoying, bombastic, crude, vulgar, sweet, sentimental, and wonderful. It is anything but boring. Malcolm owes some of its initial success to the presence of the Simpsons, but stands on its own merit. If only the rest of television comedy could be this good. If only television could be this good.
111 out of 117 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Truly the best show ever!
look_its_ben14 August 2006
This must be one of the best shows in existence!

I have been watching this program since this came on the air back in 2000 and never once have I been disappointed about it! It has its occasional not as funny episode but has kept me laughing all this time as I have just finished watching the last ever episode!

I thought that the last episode was a perfect way to end the 7 season run of the show!

I think one of the things that make this show so popular is that is more like a real life family than anything else on the air. Its a show thats not afraid to show that families do have bad days with each other!

Thanks for reading this comment!

10/10 Show!
102 out of 108 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fox has created another hit series
Marvin-319 January 2000
Like Ally McBeal, The X files and The Simpsons, Fox took a chance with an original show that was creative, enjoyable and a breath of fresh air. Fox Network has created another hit series with "Malcolm In The Middle".

Malcolm in the Middle has a stellar cast, intelligent writing & great direction. I'm sure some might find it hard to swallow the cutting edge writing. It's one of the first shows that has the characters actually saying what they feel and not thinking about it and some scenes like the father having his back shaved or the mothers breast could turn off some people. But, this is what makes "Malcolm in the Middle" fresh and funny.

Due to those high-rated stupid game shows that have to give away a million dollars to get you to watch, this show may take time to catch on but all great shows usually do.

"Malcolm in the Middle" deserves to be around long enough to get into syndication.
111 out of 120 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
We have a winner
Op_Prime20 March 2000
Malcolm in the Middle is an incredible show. My feeling toward the show was rather mixed when they began showing promos. It looked funny, but silly and unoriginal. After all, the concept of a family that doesn't get along is nothing new. The show turned out to be better than I expected. It's not a live action version of The Simpsons like some critics claim, but it is very funny. Don't be quick to judge the show or you might find the jokes go over your head. Thumbs up on this one.
117 out of 127 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the funniest shows on television
MovieAddict201624 October 2005
"Malcolm in the Middle" may have lost a bit of steam recently, but some of the earlier episodes are absolutely, side-splittingly hilarious. Although Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) may be the titular character, it is really Bryan Cranston's characterization of the father figure, Hal, that makes the show so fun to watch. Cranston turns Hal into a boy at heart (as all fathers are) - only, like everything else with the show, extends it into a complete satire and goes completely wacky. This show, for lack of a better word, is crazy.

It's absurd. And it couldn't be any better. The wild antics and over-the-top gags are similar to a cartoon, and even the fast-cut editing between scenes (with the "whoosing" sound) is reminiscent of an animated program.

Like "The Simpsons," "Malcolm" manages to successfully interweave everyday family/social topics into silly plots involving all types of nonsensical stuff. Some of the physical gags are absolutely hilarious - the episode with Hal running out of the supermarket, a parody of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," is gut-busting - but at its heart this really is a tender and witty comedy that manages to be effective on more than one level.

The rest of the cast are great too. It really "feels" like a genuine family. They bicker, they complain, they whine and moan and fight - this is America today. If we were to go back fifty years in a time capsule and present this to the "I Love Lucy" crowds, they'd be shocked.
47 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightful, Brilliant and Surprisingly Sophisticated
MMcDonaldFan10 November 2009
I have only recently discovered this show, after years of having ignored it when flipping through channels, having written it off as "a silly kids' show." Now I consider it up there with "Seinfeld" and "Scrubs" in terms of its superb writing, creativity and savvy.

Things I like about this show: it is consistently funny; no laugh-track; it doesn't hit you over the head with an annoying "message" at the end of the episode, but instead there is usually is an implied message; the family is loud and brash but still loving; although wacky and cartoonish in style, the show feels highly realistic; for a show with kids, these kids are very funny; the show has "edge"—it deals with topics like sex that other family sitcoms either wouldn't touch or would treat with stupidity; excellent cast, with witty verbal and physical humor. 10/10
17 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Must see TV.
steveoinsd20 July 2006
This is the only show that I cannot miss - even in re-runs. It is right up there along-side The Simpsons, 3rd Rock, and Married with Children for style, uniqueness and down-right hilariousness. The writing is amazing, the acting incredible and the characters have been mined from pure gold. I agree and disagree with the comparisons to the Simpsons. The shows are definitely on a par in terms of smarts and humor and the way the plots develop from seemingly random happenings are definitely similar. But to my mind the difference is in the way the jokes are presented: the Simpsons writers pummel you in the gut with punch after hilarious punch while the Malcolm writers hold your head and force you to watch while they cringe-fully punch each other. Genius pure Genius.
62 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of my favorite shows
perni26 February 2003
As of late, Fox Television has been relying on gimmicky reality series like Joe Millionaire and Married by Amercia to gets its high ratings. But the show I enjoy the most in their weekly lineup has go to be the always funny Malcolm in the Middle. First off, the entire cast is just superb. Frankie Muniz is cute, likeable, and gives the show a solid foundation. Justin Berfield and Erik Sullivan do just as well as the older and younger siblings. Dewey cracks me up sometimes when he has to take care of the father or finds his dark side (my favorite episode that was centered around the little guy has to be when he and the dad built a Lego empire that Dewey ran as dictator). And you can't leave out the parents, who are just as off the wall and hilarious. Francis shows up every now and then, but I tend to enjoy his wife Piama more than anything else about his sub-stories. What surprises me is how young the three main boys looked in the first few episodes. Frankie was just this chubby-cheeked tyke and so was Reese, but now Just Berfield has definitely bulked up (check out his shirtless scenes during the one episode where he feuds with Malcolm; yowza!), and Frankie has developed a very mature, handsome face. I'm kind of eager to see Frankie's latest movie, Agent Cody Banks, if only because he stars in it. Sure, it may not be Shakespeare, but it looks like good fun. As for Malcolm, I hope it keeps going for seasons to come. It somehow manages to be consistantly funny and fresh. 4/4 stars.
41 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It So Full Of Mischief That You Will Like It.
Mr_Sensitive8 July 2005
This is without doubt the most entertaining family show on TV. Why? Because it not the same boring story that you normally see in family show – that at the end they will forgive and forget each family member for the wrong they have done.

Story: One family, Two Parents, Fours Boys from hell – What could go right? Yeah all you see here is the mischief, and more mischief. The real life situation which being transform into a total hilarious story. That what make Malcolm so special and it very unique story for each week make this make this series fool-proof from boredom, cause you'll never know what next.

There's hardly anything to complain about this series (maybe just one thing – Lois voice while screaming which is Very irritating). Otherwise this is a highly recommended family TV shows especially when you look for hard laugh and a heart worming story.

Recommendation: Watch It!!!! Unless You Hate People Screaming.

Rating: 8.5/ 10 (Grade: A)

Please Rate My Review (Yes or No) After Reading It - Thanks
200 out of 244 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Like real life
Monika-57 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
I like Malcolm in the Middle because the family seems so real. The kids fight and argue all the time and the mom doesn't let them get away with anything! All the kids, especially Frankie Muniz, look like just regular kids messing around, and not precosious, sheltered child actors.

The situations the family gets themselves into are hilarious. I loved the special episode where they were at the water park and Dewey escaped from his baby-sitter Bea Arthur. I think the dad is even dumber than Tim Taylor was on Home Improvement, but the mom perfectly balances him out.

The writing, directing and especially acting are all right on the money. Especially the mom and Frankie Muniz, who also showed his wonderful acting range in My Dog Skip. See this show!
47 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Real-life Simpsons
David, Film Freak10 December 2001
I see the previews to this show when it was beginning to screen... and I must admit I hated it. I never bothered to watch it.

But I started watching the repeats of season one and have now grown to love it! It's original, extremely funny, outrageous and unpredictable - everything you could want in a comedy.

Jane Kaczmarick and Bryan Cranston both fill each episode with their a brand of unique hilarity all their own, while the brothers Christopher Kennedy Masterton, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan are all just great.

Special mention to the one and only Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) - star in the making.

A real-life version of The Simpsons - and that line right there should be enough to get people to watch.
66 out of 83 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I love and Always will love Malcolm in the Middle
carrot_bites10 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Malcolm in the middle has been around for many years now (5 to be precise) and I have to admit that not once have I ever found Malcolm in the middle boring! It is always amusing, the characters are extremely entertaining:- -a genius son-Malcolm -a stupid bully- Reese(Malcolm's brother) -a special needs child Dewy (Malcolm's brother) -a screw up-failure (not all the time..)Francis (Malcolm's brother) -a crazy, controlling mum (Louis) -a laid back dad (Hal) These characters are only the family wait until you see others! and the plots are always a good laugh! Even the newer series is just as witty as the others! So if you haven't checked this programme out yet you must be mad... because it definitely has something for everyone who enjoys fun shows! :)
30 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Thoroughly under rated and extremely relatable.
KirkFogg20 May 2019
What can be said about a twenty year old sitcom that hasn't been said already? This show debuted on Sunday January 9th, 2000 when I was in third grade. I had never seen a television show that not only starred the "bad family" in the neighborhood, but made them protagonists. Having grown up in a very loving but flawed lower middle class family constantly struggling to scrape by, this show really hit home for me growing up. Every episode is as cleverly written as it is genuinely hilarious and strangely wholesome. Malcolm in the Middle is a perfect representation of early 2000's television, and will remain a gem that stands the test of time. It's absolutely worth a full watch through on steaming services. If you're a fan of shows like Arrested Development, That 70s Show and Friends, I think you'll be a fan.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best show on TV in history!!!!!!!!!
porters-429-43249721 July 2012
Ever since i was a little kid i loved this show. I think it defines the word hilarious. It is the best show that has ever been on TV it is so creative and funny. I love the atmosphere the jokes and the innocents of Dewey, the stupid it all stuff recklessness of Reese, the complaining all the time of Francis, and the know it all stuff from Malcolm and i don't know how to explain Jamie. I don't just love the show because its funny also because i can relate to the family I'm the middle child, we r in trouble with money I'm one of the kids know one likes because I'm smart. I'm a fanatic i watch it on netflicks, on IFC and bought the DVDs in case it comes off netflix i give the show a 1,000,000 out of 10.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Only and the Last Great Gen X Family Comedy
ikhwan_arif2 September 2017
While there have been other family-based comedy, none that came before has been so indulgently and deliciously dysfunctional as Malcolm in the Middle. It is perhaps, the best representation of Generation X cynicism, sheer creative destruction as well as critical and thoughtful satire of how society functions.

Every family member is distinctive and memorable played by an enthusiastic cast. Bryan Cranston, Jane Kaczmarek, Frankie Muniz, Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield and Erik Per Sullivan, all convincingly portrayed a believable and at once unbelievable misbehaving nuclear family that love and hate each other.

If there is one flaw, it is that by season 6, the show gets just a little tired as it seems that after all the great character developing moments witnessed, they are rendered pointless as not one character seem to mature as the seasons progress, save Francis (Christopher Masterson) who's story arc have been quite fulfilling to watch.

Regardless, it is definitely a show worth discovering, especially in a time when Gen Y and Millenials are so easily triggered.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hilarious show
Maniac-921 January 2012
For whatever reason when the show originally aired I never watched it, but flipping through the channels one day I started to watch it then set it to record everyday and then eventually caught up with the whole series. The show is absolutely awesome with all the hijinks that Malcolm and his brothers pull. Plus Bryan Cranston is cast perfectly as the dad.

What makes the show so great is you can actually see most of this stuff potentially happening in real life. If anyone grew up in a house full of boys we can all admit that they can all be a bunch of sh**disturbers. Even Malcolm who's a prodigy is as bad as the rest of them. Reese who's not book smart can be just as crafty at pulling off pranks as the rest of them.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So Funny
joshdavidolson4 January 2012
Malcolm in the Middle is a hilarious show. I own the first season on DVD and wish that they would release the rest!

Nearly every character is funny and entertaining. The initial 30 seconds before the show are always innovative and a pick me up before the episode begins.

It is able to be streamed on Netflix so go watch the whole series.

You will not be disappointed! My favorite character has and always will be Hal!

10/10 You're not the boss of me now

Watch this.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Shows aren't like this these days
sciphii6 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
(I decided to review this after i saw some overly anticipated reruns on Nick at Nite.) This show revolves around a rude, disorganized, and uncivil family. This show could have been a horrible sitcom in so many ways, but it was BRILLIANT. the story writers are either Einsteins or freaks of nature. Each plot in each episode has such a great finish or a plot twist that it leaves you satisfied like no other TV show can. There is no ickiness in this show, and frankly, the show has a sharp feel good feel rather than a polite, soft-edged dull TV show with no plot. Now let's focus on the acting. The performance of the actors are amazing. The real star of the show is, in my opinion, little Dewey. He doesn't have that cheesy feel even older actors have. (cough cough iCarly) All the characters in Malcolm in Middle are top notch actors. nothing less in the best. So overall, this is one of the best TV shows I saw in my life.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This show reminds my mom of her childhood.
lee_eisenberg21 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
It's weird to think that in the past 20 years, only FOX (of all channels) has aired any good shows: "The Simpsons", "The X Files", "That '70s Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle". The last one shows the adventures of Malcolm Wilkerson (Frankie Muniz) and his wacky family. Disorganized mom Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), uptight dad Hal (Bryan Cranston), impulse control-lacking older brother Reese (Justin Berfield), and over-imaginative younger brother Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan).

Every episode that we've seen, we've liked. We particularly like how it shows the kids raising themselves while the parents have other things to do. Probably my favorite episode was where Malcolm went bowling. It had a split screen: on one side his mom took him and on the other side his dad took him. His mom proceeded to be a control freak, while his dad let them do their own things.

It's quite an original show. So watch it. You won't be disappointed.
22 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
second best show of the new millennium on network TV so far
couturegal1120 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Malcolm in the Middle is hilarious! Every character has a purpose and is funny in their own special way. My favorites are:

Hal- the goofy dad who is utterly devoted to Lois, but still gets into all kinds of shenanigans

Craig- Lois' co-worker at the Lucky Aide, a huge nerd with a cat named Jellybean and an unrequited love for Lois

Lois- part mother and part prosecutor, a working mom who loves her family even when she wants to kill them

Grandma Ida- the always hilarious Cloris Leachman played Lois' hard-drinking, bitter, elderly, eastern European mother in regular guest spots starting in season 2

Every one of the characters gave great performances, but I think these four are the standouts. The writing is superb, never having the Hallmark-ish cheese that is normally expected of family sitcoms (i.e. Seventh Heaven, Family Matters, etc.) The only show of this millennium that is better is The Office on NBC.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Greatest TV Show Period. The Sopranos Has Nothing On Malcolm.
speedy-19927428 March 2009
I watched it for the first time when I was 14 years by the summer of 2007. I love the premise of a live action adult oriented sitcom that centers around an 11 year old gifted child with a very eccentric and dysfunctional family. An overbearing strict mother, a childish father, an absent older brother (in military school), a second older brother who is a moronic thug (with a passion for cooking), and a younger brother who maybe as smart as Malcolm and can outwit his older brothers and family. I love the production values of the series. The production setup. The choice of filming techniques. The cinematography. The incidental (and often humorous) music and choice of songs. The (very rare) widescreen format (sometimes seen in syndication on FX). The writing. The acting. The irreverent, immature, witty, clever, and outrageous humor. And I love the characters. The only show where you care about all the characters, you can't say which character is your favorite because you love them all. FOX had a true classic that should have waited until now to be released to televisions everywhere. Now I missed out watching it on it's original release dates. But soon someday, the series will return on DVD and Blu Ray. This is a masterpiece that SHOULD be remembered in every household just like The Simpsons and Married With Children. Everything in this show is completely perfect. I don't see a flaw in any frame (except the episode "The Red Dress"). One of the greatest shows (i.e. The Sopranos, The Simpsons, Married With Children, Seinfeld, etc) in the history of arts & entertainment.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Loved it, now I got my kids hooked.
tailgunner7023 January 2014
I loved this show back in the day. I bought all the the DVDs. I shelved all the DVDs and over the years forgot about the show. Recently, thanks to Breaking Bad, I had the urge to go back and see the "old" Bryan Cranston. You know... the happier, zanier guy as opposed to the meth maker. Lo and behold, my 9 and 11-year olds started to watch along with me and now they're hooked. I absolutely love watching it with them and seeing what they find hilarious in it. Irreverent, silly comedy that leaves me in a great mood. I suppose it's kind of the opposite of Breaking Bad. I find it amazing to see how an actor like Cranston can have such range too. If you have young kids, this show is a blast. I'll have to wait a few more years before we can watch Breaking Bad together. Maybe 20.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A good comedy that actually lasted
worship_HIM973 August 2005
It is January 9th of 2000, more than five years ago, and Fox viewers are waiting until 8:30 to see what Fox's new show Malcolm In The Middle is all about. Fox has referred to it as being a live version of The Simpsons, but would that really be true? Would fans come to admire Malcolm like they do The Simpsons? Well, that's why it was crucial to watch it, to see if it was going to be good.

My own personal judgment would tell you that no, even to this day, Malcolm In The Middle has not become as popular as The Simpsons, but it is still an excellent comedy. It has lasted for more than five years now, and hopefully, it doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon, even though I know that if it's losing a drastic amount of viewers, it won't have a choice.

Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is your typical kid. He has a family, he goes to school, and he even has an older brother that he looks up to. However, did I forget to mention that his family is dysfunctional, he once went to a special gifted class for a few years which only caused him to become a laughing stock, and the brother that he looks up to has a criminal record and once went to military school for a long time? Typical? Well, maybe that was a bit of a deception on my part.

Malcolm has three brothers (four including Jamie), which are Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), Reese (Justin Berfield), and Francis (Chris Masterson). They can almost never get along, except for when they all agree on a prank or a stupid activity to do such as dropping a cart load of merchandise that belonged to their parents off the roof of their house. Francis hasn't lived home for years, as he first went to military school, then to Alaska where he got married, and then to a ranch where he worked for a couple named Otto and Gretchen.

Malcolm's parents are anything but two of a kind. His mother, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), is a controlling and aggressive parent who never allows the kids to get away with anything, except for when it's impossible for her to stop them. His father, Hal (Bryan Cranston), is an easy-going, active, and tolerative parent who has a tendency to give into the kids every now and then (which I think is because he knows that he once used to be just like them).

The family does "seem" to be unlucky, as a number of disastrous and god-awful things have happened to them, such as their brand new refrigerator being blown up by a grenade. Of course, these disastrous events have nothing to do with the stupidity and restlessness of the boys. (:-)

This is an awesome show, and I hope Fox keeps it for another couple of years. I especially liked that the producer of the show (Linwood Boomer if I'm correct - please send me a private message if I'm wrong)has failed to reveal the last name of the family. It just makes it more simple and even mysterious. Please don't give up on it (continue to watch it), and maybe Fox will keep it for a while.

3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well one of best family entertainers ever.
kashyap-skash4 February 2014
My feeling are generally extreme but this is one best written and worked out TV shows I have watched. Each episode starts off with a quirky incident which are really witty and funny. It lasts for over a 2 to 3 minutes only. They being able to come up with something quirky in every episode for 7 seasons is definitely a achievement in itself. They were able to maintain consistency in the script and make us relate with each of the characters to such an extent that we attach ourselves to their fictional day to day schedule was a amazing achievement. I love this series and would never get bored even if I have to watch it altogether again at a stretch on any day!
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed